Their team may be laden with a Black Cap and several Northern Knights, but Hamilton coach Nathan Daley doesn't want his other players to rely on their big guns in this weekend's opening Fergus Hickey Trophy match against Counties-Manukau.
The sides do battle at Galloway Park in the two-day match starting today and hosts Hamilton will be hot favourites, boosted by a ton of experience.
They have the services of Black Caps wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling who is unwanted in the current test squad and turned out for Northern Districts in last night's HRV Cup Twenty20 match.
The Knights don't play again until next Friday so Hamilton also have the services of Anton Devcich, Daryl Mitchell, Bradley Scott and James Baker.
"It's cool to have them for a game or so," Daley said. "Last year we had one game where we had most of them. It doesn't happen very often but we've had it two years in a row so we're pretty lucky."
Daley said it was nice for the guys who did not often play alongside the top-line players to experience it, but he hoped they did not sit back.
"Hopefully they actually go out there and play their game and don't think the superstars are going to do everything."
Watling will keep wicket and bat at six - a position he suggested Daley put him in so the rest of Hamilton's top order get batting time ahead of crucial Hawke Cup defences.
Hamilton want revenge against Counties, who less than a fortnight ago annihilated them by nine wickets in their one-day clash in Taupo.
Though Daley described the early one-day form of his batsmen as "woeful", he was pleased with how they bounced back in their last game and said they had trained well this week.
Star University allrounder Steven Rae earns his first cap for Hamilton today.
- Waikato Times
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